‘Wait and see?’ 41% of Black women have reservations about COVID shots, 50% of African Americans don’t trust US healthcare system

Credit: Jordan Mitchell/NBC
Credit: Jordan Mitchell/NBC

The latest from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor finds that Black men (45%) and women (41%) are more likely than other groups to want to “wait and see” how the COVID-19 vaccine works for others before getting it themselves, making them a key target for public health officials seeking to boost vaccination rates equitably.

About one in five (19%) Black women say they “definitely will not” get vaccinated for COVID-19, larger than the share of Black men (7%) who say the same. This greater reluctance may be related to Black women’s higher levels of concerns about side effects. In addition, among those not yet vaccinated, many more Black women (68%) than men (38%) say they worry about contracting COVID-19 from a vaccine, suggesting that learning that doesn’t happen could influence their decision.

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About half of Black women (53%) and men (45%) say that they trust the health care system to do what is right for them and their community “only some” or “almost none” of the time. This suggests addressing historic mistreatment and inequities in the vaccine distribution process could help outreach efforts aimed at vaccine hesitancy among both Black women and men.

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